ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Manny Machado’s gruesome knee injury gave players in the Tampa Bay Rays’ dugout pause, and they extended well-wishes Monday evening.
Machado, the Baltimore Orioles’ third baseman, sustained an apparent left knee injury in the seventh inning of the Rays’ 5-4 victory at Tropicana Field. He was running through first base after a single off Rays reliever Jake McGee when his left knee buckled underneath him. He fell to the ground and clutched his leg in pain.
Medical personnel tended to him, and he was wheeled off the field on a stretcher a short time later to a standing ovation. Alexi Casilla was called to pinch run for him.
Machado will have an MRI taken Tuesday in Baltimore, and the injury will keep him out the rest of the season. Until the MRI is complete, a specific prognosis for the condition is unknown.
“It’s horrible,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “I hate to see that. He’s just a young man, tremendous talent, tremendous talent. I don’t know him that well, but he has a great joy for the game, also. So you hate to see that.”
Machado, 21, had success against the Rays before leaving. He was 2 for 4 with one strikeout Monday. Earlier, he had one hit each in games against the Rays on Friday and Sunday.
He hit .283 with 14 home runs and 71 RBI this season.
“Especially a guy like that at his age, it’s never something you want to see out there,” Rays infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist said. “He’s one of their star players, and he’s going to be a star in the league for years to come. You hate to have to see him spend the whole offseason and part of the year next year rehabbing a knee injury. We wish him the best.”
Rays third baseman Evan Longoria shared the concern.
“Unfortunately for them, it’s tough to see that,” he said. “Hopefully, he bounces back. I know he will.”
Meanwhile, Casilla’s head hit the right knee of right fielder Nick Markakis while diving to make a play on a shallow fly ball by the Rays’ Wil Myers in the bottom half of the seventh. After the impact, Casilla felt light-headed but stayed in the game. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Casilla will receive a CAT scan at an area hospital and likely not travel with the team until all tests are back.
“Alexi got a pretty good blow to the head,” Showalter said. “Kind of found out after the fact. Looking back, (we) probably should have gotten him out from the get-go. He seems to be a little bit clearer.”